“I will pray” I replied in a voice she alone could hear. Then I hung up the phone.
“Cancer has begun its invasion on my left cerebrum. Her body has swollen. She might live only a few days more” her daughter whispered. Another surgery will be performed in two months’ time. Then, Chemotherapy.
If only she pass on without much suffering! I began to pray so. But, I could not say to anyone.
She is my elder sister. The one who guided me while I was still a kid. She was three years elder to me. We had a sad childhood, and we have trodden the days of suffering together. She sometimes took up the role of my caretaker. It was she who equipped me for a speech competition at my primary school. I could guess if would win the contest just from her facial expression. She used to cast a sharp look at me whenever I delivered my speech lazily. She would scold me with fiery words on our way back home on the evenings I failed to deliver well.
She was married while I was doing my graduation. She did not get anything she desired. Neither advanced studies nor a job. When I asked her if she liked the proposal, her reply was, “If you like this, we will accept it”.
This was the days, my sister began to smile. Her elder daughter passed in the UGC examination immediately after she completed her studies. Now she is working a lecturer in a college. Her son is working in a software company, and her youngest daughter is still pursuing her studies.
I had just returned to UK after a visit to Kerala. On the third day, the sad news came. My sister collapsed with a brain tumour!
In the month of March, I came to Kerala just to see her. She was lying on her bed with a smile on her face. Her right side was paralyzed. But, the smile was there. She began to speak. And there was no trace of sorrow in her voice. Her husband was with her ready to do anything for her. I was impressed by his demeanor. It was he who assisted her for her primary needs. She preferred it too. She feared that she might fell if her children assisted her to get up.
That evening, I dared an adventure. I took her paralyzed hand in my hand and prayed over her. After a while, she said: “Now I can lift up my hand”.
My brother-in-law commented with a tinge of sarcasm: “Charismatic healing?”
“Why can’t we try to walk a little?”
She was ready. Brother-in-law and I held her from both either sides, and she walked along with us up to the verandah. I saw her eyes beaming with hope.
At the week end I had a call from my brother-in-law’s sister, who is a nun. “Your sister has begun to walk. She says to everyone who visits her that her brother has regained her ability to walk”, she said.
But, I felt a sorrow within; as if a big misfortune is underway. I asked her to call a priest and arrange confession for my sister.
My inhibitions were proved true! Earlier the tumour was on the left side of the brain. Now another one of the same size has formed on the right side!
Now, her hair will be cut off. My pretty sister had knee-long hair!
Tinju, my sister’s son, asked me: “Why this has happened to my mother?”
My Son, I have no answer…
Seventeen months ago, pointing to a hunchback woman wading through the road outside, my younger son asked me: “Why did your God take my Mom? Why did he spare this old woman?”
For the first time in my life, I stood before him, answerless.
His mother had passed away unexpectedly during a Sunday Mass a couple of years back!
Sorrows keep pouring down heavily! Many many sorrows…
The other day, I got a pack with three small books in it.
Among them was a book of Dr. George Samuel titled ‘Courage in the time of Discouragement.’ It contained the life and views of a man who lost his wife and two sons. He is a renowned nuclear physicist, a famous preacher and an accomplished professor. He himself has authored the second book in the kit. The title of one book is: “Why God, why?”
“Turn your sorrow” – that was the title of the third book written by Dr. P.P. Job. He is a renowned preacher too. A book written in memory of his two sons died at their youth.
Thank you my unknown friend, who sent these books to me!
It was Fr. Dominic Valanmanal, who narrated me the story of a righteous man, who lost his spouse on the half way of life. It was none other than Cyril John, the Director of Lok Sabha and the international Vice President of Global Charismatic Movement.
Loved ones, accept your sorrows thankfully; because they are the signs that God accepts you.
“Accept whatever happens to you. Even if you suffer humiliation, be patient. Gold is tested by fire, and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation” (Sirach 2: 4-5).
By Santimon Jacob.